There’s always a market for 7-foot basketball players no matter what road it took to get there.
After playing just one season since his graduation from Round Rock High School in 2013, Leonard Allen verbally committed to Baylor on Thursday night.
Allen last played at San Diego City College in 2015-16 where he averaged 14.6 points and 8.7 rebounds as a freshman. He said he sat out last season due to grade issues while taking online classes at Austin Community College.
But now he’s eager to play again and expects to enroll at Baylor this summer. He’ll have at least two years of eligibility remaining but hopes he’s granted a third year.
“I feel like this is going to be another great chapter in my life,” Allen said. “I like Baylor’s team chemistry. I like their intensity when they play. I’ve visited many places but there’s something about Baylor I felt I should go with.”
Allen averaged 14.7 points and 10 rebounds as a senior at Round Rock High School in 2012-13 but decided not to play basketball immediately after high school. Instead, he worked at a gym in Round Rock.
“I felt like I had to gather myself,” Allen said. “I got a feel for the working life and did some work in customer service. But then I decided I had to pick up a ball again. I had to get back into it somehow.”
Allen enjoyed a tremendous season for San Diego City College in 2015-16, but moved back to Round Rock during the past year to work on his grades through online courses.
He’ll add depth for the Bears inside with Jo Lual-Acuil and Terry Maston returning from last year’s Sweet 16 team. All-American forward Johnathan Motley has declared for the NBA draft but still could return to Baylor since he hasn’t hired an agent.
“I feel like I’m a good defensive player and I can rebound and block shots,” Allen said.
Allen is the older brother of Texas forward Jarrett Allen who recently declared for the NBA draft after his freshman season.